Michelle Despres to Appear at National Ergo 2022

1 month ago

Michelle Despres to Appear at National Ergo 2022

With National Comp 2022 now in the books, another One Call thought leader will soon step onstage in Las Vegas. Returning to the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, National Ergo 2022 takes place November 8-10. The three-day event brings the Ergonomics community together for the industry's longest running conference and trade show, featuring over 40 educational sessions, keynotes and workshops.

On the conference’s final day, vice president and national clinical leader Michelle Despres will give a presentation on preventing cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). During the 60-minute session, Michelle will offer insight and tips for implementing an ergonomics program within the workplace environment.

With the rise of remote jobs over the last two-plus years, the need for ergonomics programs has drastically increased. While cumulative trauma injuries for one employee can cost as much as $88,000, a preventive ergonomics program for 1,000 employees is a fraction of the price at $39,000, on average.

To learn more about Michelle’s session, read the full description below. Whether you’re attending the conference or continuing to work from the office or home, be sure to check out our tips on creating and ergonomics workspace.

Working from Home is the New Normal, Not a New Injury

Presented by: Michelle Despres, PT, CEAS II, REAS, CETS
Vice President, Product Management, National Clinical Leader, One Call
Location: Champagne 1
Date and time: November 10, 9-9:50 a.m. PT

With the onset of a worldwide pandemic, we found ourselves living and working "safer at home," with unexpected requirements to work remotely for an extended period. Very quickly, many of us used our couch, dining room tables, and a myriad of other places to work from with a laptop. However, as the temporary work from home concept has evolved to a more permanent arrangement, there is a need to help remote workers do so safely and efficiently. Cumulative trauma disorders are largely preventable injuries. During this session, we will leverage technology, including artificial intelligence, to identify risks. In addition, we will provide self-management strategies coupled with professional ergonomics intervention to ensure remote workers implement solutions that include behavioral changes, equipment adjustments, and environmental changes to fit the work to the worker. This presentation will also demonstrate how successful ergonomics programs reduce cost and risks for office workers and work from home associates.

What are Cumulative Trauma Disorders?

CTDs occur when microtrauma continues on a regular basis over a period of time that exceeds the body’s ability to repair itself, damage or trauma accumulates. Further damage can lead to tissue scarring, changes in tissue chemistry, inflammation, degenerative changes, and functional limitations, all of which occur over time with repeated exposure.

Common CTDs include tendonitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis, epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a sprain/strain/overuse.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, instead of forcing the worker to fit the job. An ergonomic program will address: 

  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • Work practices
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Devices that enable people and things to interact efficiently and safely 

By taking ergonomics into consideration when setting up a workspace, it can help prevent injury and promote overall wellness. The typical office worker spends an average of 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen and more than 70 days sitting at a desk. Nonfatal work injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $1 billion every week, leaving ample opportunity for both injury prevention solutions and cost-savings for employees and employers.

Some tips to create an ergonomic workspace: 

  • An easy first step is to establish a designated work/learning space, such as a desk or table. Working from a sofa or bed is not ideal.
  • When sitting in a chair, keep your feet flat on the floor with your hips and knees at a 90° angle. Add a footrest if needed to support your feet. 
  • Sit up straight so your lower back is supported by a chair and your weight is centered over your feet.
  • Place your computer monitor at eye level, this can be done by using a stand or by stacking books or boxes. Add an external keyboard if raising your laptop monitor to eye level.
  • Keep the screen 18” to 24” away from your face.
  • Avoid resting forearms on hard surfaces. Wrists should be free floating when typing and using a mouse. 
  • Incorporate micro breaks into your day to improve blood flow, this could include standing, raising your heels, or walking around your house. Make it a habit by doing an activity every time you answer a call or send an email. 
  • Don’t forget to rest your eyes. Every 20 minutes take a moment to shift your attention, focusing on a distant object or point in the room to avoid eye strain.

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